National Cancer Survivors Day

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Put an End To Cancer Pain

by Julie Knight, PharmD, Charlene Whittlesey, PharmD, BCPS, and Sorin Buga, MD, FACP

Pain, as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain, is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue injury or de­scribed in terms of such damage.” In other words, pain is whatever you per­ceive it to be. We all feel pain differently; therefore, the pain experience is unique to each person.

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Questions and Answers about Lymphedema

by Stanley G. Rockson, MD, FACP, FACC

Lymphedema is the accumulation of a protein-rich body fluid called lymph, typically in one part of the body, when the lymphatic system for fluid transport is damaged. For example, if lymph nodes are removed from the armpit region during breast cancer treatment, lymphedema can occur in that arm.

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When Cancer Pain and Chronic Pain Coexist

by Pamela J. Haylock, PhD, RN, FAN, and Carol P. Curtiss, MSN, RN-BC

If you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with cancer pain in addition to chronic pain, here are some things you should know.

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Confronting Cancer as a Senior Adult

by Amy MacKenzie, MD, and Andrew E. Chapman, DO, FACP

Making treatment decisions can be challenging. Meeting with multiple specialists to discuss everything from chemotherapy to sur­vivorship plans is an overwhelming part of the cancer experience for anyone diagnosed with cancer. However, if you’re a senior adult, you also have a unique set of challenges to consider as you work with your healthcare team to plan your treatment.

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A Clinical Trial System for the Era of Precision Cancer Medicine

by Jeffrey Abrams, MD

The National Cancer Institute has the largest oncology clinical trials program in the world, supporting, fully or in part, 3,775 active clinical trials and enrolling more than 35,000 clinical trial participants annually. Yet, as a di­rector of NCI-supported clinical trials, I know that behind every statistic is a person, each of whom brings his or her own motivations and hopes to the table when deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial.

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Should You Consider Genetic Counseling and Testing?

by Ellen T. Matloff, MS, CGC, and Karina L. Brierley, MS, CGC

Genetic counseling and testing have become integral tools in the fight against cancer. The results can provide important informa­tion to help guide appropriate surgical decisions, treatment, surveillance, and prevention strategies for an individual and his or her entire family. Awareness and availability of cancer genetic coun­seling and testing, criteria for insurance coverage of testing, and available test­ing options have expanded rapidly in the past decade. Therefore, even cancer survivors who did not previously have the chance to undergo genetic counsel­ing and testing, or who tested negative in the past, may now be candidates for these services.

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Hope for the Future

by Laxmi A. Kondapalli, MD, MSCE

With cancer survival rates steadily increasing, what was once considered a “terminal illness” now allows people to imagine a life after cancer with expectations beyond survival. However, some of the new life-saving treatments contributing to increased survival can negatively affect fertility, causing delays in child­bearing or even compromising a person’s ability to have children in the future. Fortunately, over the last several decades, the emergence of the medical discipline of oncofertility and the development of new fertility preservation techniques have made the dream of building a biological family a reality for many cancer survivors.

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ASCO’s Latest “Top Five” List Details Cancer Tests and Treatments That Are Routinely Performed Despite Lack of Evidence

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has issued its second “Top Five” list of opportunities to improve the quality and value of cancer care. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the list was released as part of the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign to encourage conver­sations between physicians and cancer survivors and is aimed at curbing the use of certain tests and procedures that are not supported by clinical research.

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